The Best Science Fiction Movies of the 1970s, Ranked
From Godzilla vs. Cyborg to Alien, the best sci-fi movies of the 1970s are sometimes still essential to understanding recent blockbusters.
The 1970s are often considered one of cinema's greatest decades, thanks to an influx of films driven by classic techniques that mix naturalistic performances and subversive ideas.
The emergence of directors such as Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas reshaped Hollywood filmmaking, but Europe and Asia also innovated and produced some of the best genres of the decade movie of. Franchises like Godzilla, Star Wars, and Alien continue to this day, and the best sci-fi films of the 1970s are actually sometimes still essential to understanding some of the latest blockbusters.
10/10 Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Available to stream on YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max
Director Jun Fukuda's third and final Godzilla film of the 1970s introduced the decade's most enduring contribution to franchise lore. The titular mecha villain remains one of Toho's most recognizable icons, and is still seen making waves at the 2021 Godzilla vs. Kong box office.
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla - as an actual film - represents where the Godzilla franchise stood at that point in time. The '70s produced some of Godzilla's strangest storylines and enemies, and the bizarre monster Julius Caesar also made his debut in this film. at the same time Undoubtedly an interesting piece of monster movie history, the other great sci-fi films of the 1970s are known for their feats of storytelling craft.
9/10 Rollerball (1975)
Available to stream on ScreenPix
This 2018 dystopian vision of ubiquitous corporations controlling every aspect of life and culture is one of the most violent and prescient sci-fi films of the 1970s.
Both Orwell's 1984 cautionary tale and Rocky's predecessor sports film, Rollerball sees James Caan's star athlete challenge him in a world that revolves around his ultraviolent gladiatorial game and the apotheosis of the business interests that control it The Human Nature. While the story may often seek to be as straightforwardly entertaining as the game of the same name, the film's brooding silence also lends it an enduring chilling character.
8/10 Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)
Colossus: Project Forbin's titular supercomputer was an important stepping stone for artificial intelligence in sci-fi, between Kubrick's cold-computing HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey and James Cameron's The Terminator between Skynet who conquered the world.
While it lacks the star power of other great sci-fi films of the 70s, the main character's struggle with Colossus Attempting to Control the World is an expression of Cold War angst delivered in the grounded and paranoid style of the best thriller of the decade.
7/10 The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976)
Available to stream on BFI Player Classics
David Bowie delivers one of his most iconic film performances in this consistently eccentric and sometimes hallucinatory tale of a fallen alien and his quest to return home. While ostensibly a simple enough sci-fi premise, director Nicolas Roeg spares no expense in the film's exploration of human desire and self-destruction.
Beginning in the experimental phase on the eve of the release of Star Wars, this is certainly the film for those wanting to see the best examples of the surreal and psychedelic influences of 1970s sci-fi cinema, as even today, It's still an exciting ride.
6/10 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Available to stream on HBO Max
The original Invasion of the Corpse Reavers has become synonymous with Cold War paranoia, and this is the first in a long line of remakes. That it's considered potentially superior to its predecessor is an achievement in itself, but its harrowing ending and relentless atmosphere of uncertainty make it one of the best sci-fi thrillers of its kind.
The Eternal Story of the Slow Alien Takeover Retrofitting neighborhoods by replacing people with identical copies, in the 50s, 70s, and even today, speaks to so much social anxieties that seep into everyday life.
5/10 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Available to stream on Netflix and HBO Max
Stanley Kubrick's controversial film adaptation of Anthony Burgess' novel of the same name became one of the hallmarks of the legendary director's career.
Malcolm McDowell's lead performance as a deeply troubled young man in a radically broken world still has the power to perpetuate today, and his morality drama of unspeakable crimes and extreme punishment is still considered is an important review of behavioral psychology.
4/10 Solaris (1972)
Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video
Andrei Tarkovsky created a sci-fi film second only to Kubrick's 2001, but he focused on the complexities of human emotion rather than technology progress.
As the scientific mind at the film's center contemplates alien worlds and their strange communications with them, Solaris does take time to examine its dense themes, and moves more slowly than any other well-known sci-fi movie of the 70s; except Taco Fowski's own stalker, which continues a similar philosophical thread. but deep The regret and isolation that drives the main characters is easier to understand and makes it an impactful experience 50 years after it was first released.
3/10 Fantastic Planet (1973)
Available to stream on HBO Max
More experimental than Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, Fantastic Planet is a uniquely animated film that observes a race of giant blue overlords against their oppressive small band of human underlings. relationship between.
The social allegory in the film is obvious and very effective, containing resonant themes and insights into existing issues of the day. The film's sometimes icy stare makes the drama unfolding between the warring factions all the more compelling, and these fantastical creatures living on distant planets start to feel very human.
2/10 Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
Available to stream on Pluto TV
While George Lucas' Star Wars is the most influential film on the sci-fi genre since 1977 -- more than anything before or since -- its story is more fantasy than science fiction itself. Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind gets closer to the genre's heart, though it's not without its own fantasy elements.
Slowly documenting a man with a family Building on the obsession with extraterrestrial life, Close Encounters is also a more emotionally and thematically complex film, allowing it to be compared more easily to other great sci-fi films of the 1970s. It's visually stunning, but it's also a story imbued with the same personal touch Spielberg has seen in films like E.T. And Fabelmans, help it feel timeless.
1/10 Alien (1979)
Available to stream on Starz
Following the unprecedented financial success of Star Wars at the box office, the industry shifted toward being more attuned to science fiction and fantasy films, and the number of science fiction films produced exploded. It first came to the attention of general audiences in 1979, and Alien became the most iconic sci-fi movie of the year.
"Alien" could have easily been a style-over-substance film, but instead rooted its science elements in its dialogue, allowing its classic horror themes to be more subtly expressed through the narrative. As a result, audiences are as fascinated by the beautiful and ugly monsters of the movie as they are by the characters trying to survive them, and the movie has lived alongside Star Wars over the years.